Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Troy Corser lost his chance of a possible front row grid position when Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) inadvertently got in his way towards the end of the final Superpole. Troy had qualified for Superpole in 19th place, but then stormed his way up through Superpole 1 with the fourth fastest time. In Superpole 2, he surprised everybody by posting the second quickest time and the scene was set for BMW’s first front row of the season. But, in Superpole 3, Troy got baulked by Haga right at the end and the time lost was enough to leave Troy with the sixth fastest lap and a place on row two instead.
Troy’s young team mate Richard Cooper failed to qualify for Superpole because of a lack of dry set-up time. After yesterday’s rain-filled sessions, today saw a dry track and Richard had to find a dry set-up right from scratch. But the young Briton ran out of time in the 45-minute qualifying session and was forced to sit out Superpole. Noriyuki Haga took Superpole, his first of the season, with Jonathan Rea (Honda) second, Leon Haslam (Honda) third and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) fourth.
Troy – 6th, 1:56.296
Towards the end of Superpole 3, I was really going for it and looking for our first front row of the season. I saw Nori cruising and thought he’d keep off the racing line as I dived into a turn. I was committed and right on the white line when suddenly he drifted across and was in my way. I’m sure that I brushed his leathers as I tried to modify my line and for a while it was a bit of a scary moment. I’m not sure if I would’ve got front row if I didn’t have that moment, but it would’ve been a close thing.
But, I’m happy with the bike and feel that the team have made a step up since Brno. Certainly the bike feels like a bike should and the general feel is more consistent. This isn’t a fun track in the wet, so I am hoping that it will be dry tomorrow so that I can fight for good results.
Richard – 26th, 1:59.602
I am very disappointed with my position, especially as yesterday had gone so well. The problem was that today was dry, so we had to start with a completely new set-up, try and improve it, then finish in the top twenty – all in 45 minutes! Basically I went faster and faster throughout the qualifying session, but we just ran out of time. If we could’ve had another session, I’m sure I would’ve qualified for Superpole. Certainly I set my quickest lap of the day in the untimed afternoon session, so I know improvement was always on the cards.
Today was the first time I’ve ever tried a ‘launch control’ and I thought it was great! From my position on the grid, I’m going to need a good start, so any help is good help. It’s going to be a hard couple of races tomorrow and I will have to try and fight my way through a lot of riders. But, this is a long track, so we’ll see how far up the field we can get in the two twenty-lappers.
Rainer Baeumel (Team manager – BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
Today has confirmed our results in Brno and shows that we are going in the right direction for sure. I expected Troy’s result today, but I feel sorry for Richard because he only had forty-five minutes this morning to find a good dry set-up and go fast enough to qualify for Superpole. That wasn’t sufficient time, but he continued his improvement in the afternoon untimed session and went quicker anyway. We’re very happy with the job he has done and I believe he’s got the talent to be a top Superbike rider in the future.